IPMA Education & Training Board’s Series for the PMWJ:PM Educators must Entertain!!!


By Tom Taylor

APM President


It was a few years ago that I first heard of the phrase “e-learning” and it was in the context of project management education. I immediately thought this might be about “entertaining” project management education. Good show I thought! I then moved on to other possibilities of enthusiastic, encouraging and erudite; and you can probably think of others. All sounded good possibilities to me. So I must admit I was rather disappointed when I discovered it was just about “electronic”.

So this article will explore the opportunities particularly for the other “e” of entertainment in the serious business of learning and development; related to the also serious business of project management; and to projects themselves.

There was an inference in the commission for this piece that I would argue that the formal educators – as lecturers, teachers and trainers – should also be entertainers in some way. I am not going to fall for that one! In my view the primary role for the educators is to educate – and they should use the skills and techniques available to them to get their messages across; also to get people through examinations; to achieve qualifications; and to prepare students for a life in practice – which might include educating further generations and colleagues.

I want to explore the definition of an educator in the field of project management. I was being told the other day something on the lines of our professional knowledge is a collection of 10% formal education, 20% learning from others and 70% what we teach ourselves. This would seem to fit situations where most professional people might receive a three or four year undergraduate or equivalent apprenticeship period of vocational education followed by 30 to 40 years working in practice. Also the amount of direction and advice that one receives from others is valuable but relatively limited. Mainly most of us learn by self-study, observation, experience and on-the-job activity.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: This is the 5th in a series of articles provided by the IPMA Education and Training (E&T) Board on the subject of project management education, training, careers and related topics.  More information about the IPMA E&T can be found at http://ipma.ch/education.

About the Author

pmwj14-sep2013-Taylor image 150x200flag-ukTom Taylor

President Association for Project Management

London, UK

Tom Taylor is the current president of APM. He is a joint founder of Buro Four an eminent UK project management outfit; a principal of dashdot which is a consultancy and publishing practice; and a Visiting Professor at Salford University.

Tom is known as:

v  a popular, confident and energetic speaker and broadcaster;

v  a prolific author and publisher on innovative business and original management issues;

v  an experienced and enthusiastic lecturer and course leader; and

v  an award-winning, highly-experienced manager of projects, advisor and consultant.

Amongst his dozen publications he has recently produced “Sixteen Stories –for managers of projects, programmes and enterprises” which attempts to combine information and entertainment – generally for readers who are in their pyjamas.

Tom can be contacted at [email protected].